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Lean Product Design

One of the most pronounced impacts of the Lean process is during the design phase of a product’s life cycle. Using Lean process techniques during design helps engineers document potential areas of waste that can slow product development, particularly if they appear further along in the product development process. 

Frank Spina, Jabil Principal Design Engineer explains, “By implementing a lean risk-based product development process, Jabil Design and Manufacturing strives to uncover and eliminate product defects sooner in the overall product life cycle, thereby greatly reducing latent quality costs to achieve the highest level of customer satisfaction.”


It’s all about creating – and adhering to – a process

As a design and manufacturing partner it is imperative that Jabil adheres to a well-defined product development process, managed by product development teams. These teams are small, self-managed and use Lean and Agile processes to respond quickly to change while looking for areas of product improvement that will exceed customer expectations. Involving the customer early and often to validate the design ensures the product’s success.

The following stages outline the activities during design phase:

  • Project planning: Develop detailed project plans and define risk; identify project risks to mitigate them early in the development cycle
  • Concept finalization: Eliminate deficient product concepts; begin continuous monitoring and action to eliminate product and project risk
  • Design implementation: Involve customer, supplier and manufacturer in the design process; finalize product design, perform engineering development trials, prepare for product verification testing
  • Design verification: Qualify the design through product verification trials involving manufacturing processes; product verification testing and component environmental testing
  • Design transfer: Successfully transfer product design; develop and implement post-transfer support plans and document lessons learned.

According to Jabil’s Director of Engineering Services Allan Banko, Jabil’s continuous process improvement initiative and this Product Development Procedure meet all major quality certifications for the many sectors that the company supports from non-medical to medical.

Jabil’s process has been certified by TUV International; has Global TUV Corporate certification to ISO 9001/13485; and is Safety certificated for ISO 14001. Recent third party reviews ensure that our PDP meets the requirements for FDA certification to 21 CFR Part 820 Quality System Regulation.

Lean design requires structure and rigorous discipline. Does your company use these process methodologies for product development? Do you have success stories you’d like to share? We welcome your feedback.

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